North Montgomery High School senior Treyce Pittman had long been interested in technology when during the pandemic he discovered a hobby of building computers and information systems.
For Zach Gideon, a senior at Western Boone Jr.-Sr. High School, building his own computer turned his love for gaming into a possible career designing games or software.
“And then it just kind of sprouted from there,” Gideon said.
Students like Pittman and Gideon, who are enrolled in dual-credit classes through Ivy Tech Community College, have new resources for jump-starting their careers following upgrades to the Crawfordsville campus.
Since reopening after the COVID-19 shutdown, the Montgomery County Instructional Center has added a new cybersecurity classroom and two new classrooms for the dual-credit certified nursing assistant programs, along with installing technology that makes it easier for students to attend classes remotely.
Across its campuses statewide, Ivy Tech has added virtual and hybrid learning options, along with a “learn anywhere” model where the instructor teaches from the classroom as students participate by Zoom.
“I think [the pandemic] kind of propelled the college forward to find ways to eliminate barriers for students,” said Kristin Oakes, who became the Crawfordsville site director in June.
Though fall enrollment at public colleges across Indiana declined again this year, including at Ivy Tech overall, the Crawfordsville campus has seen year-over-year growth.
Enrollment for the current semester stood at 127, up from 85 last fall, according to figures provided by Oakes. (Only 14 students attended classes in person in fall 2020.)
Spring 2021 enrollment currently stands at 70, though Oakes would like to see twice that many sign up.
From 1 to 7 p.m. Dec. 2, the Crawfordsville campus is hosting a spring enrollment event where prospective students can complete the entire application process at once and receive a guided tour of the center and classrooms.
The new cybersecurity classroom will allow the center to offer a new cybersecurity and IT support program beginning next fall.
Cybersecurity is a hot ticket. Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 33% by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage in 2020 was $103,590.
Through a partnership with the West Central Career & Technical Education cooperative, high school students can enroll in classes at Ivy Tech their junior year and graduate from high school with college credit, or begin courses their senior year and return to finish the program as Ivy Tech students.
The cooperative includes Crawfordsville, North and South Montgomery and Western Boone schools.
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